Hopeless

If you know anything about classical Greek mythology, then you have heard the story of Pandora. Pandora was the first woman created by the gods. Created by Hephaestus at the request of Zeus, Pandora was given gifts from the gods and goddesses. One gift she received was a canister that we know today as “Pandora’s Box”. Hidden away in Pandora’s box were all the evils of the world.

Looking out at the world today it’s hard to feel very hopeful. Read the news online or go on social media and the stories are bleak. Recently there was a mass random shooting spree in Kalamazoo Michigan. That was very frightening for me because I have a good portion of my family living in Michigan and some who even live in Kalamazoo. These types of events have become commonplace lately. Mass shootings on top of police brutality, an abundance of guns and an increase in racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia give the impression that all hope is lost.

It is no wonder that the country is at war with itself. Those on the right are marching further and further to the right. Those on the left are marching further and further and further to the left. That is why idealistic political candidates and opportunity candidates like Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders are popular. The people in both parties seem to feel that the sky is falling. Hopelessness and fear has brought about an epidemic of panic that has been exploited.

I admit, I have felt the deep-seated despair rising inside of me. How could you not when you see so many people homeless, suffering, poor, in pain, being killed in movie theaters, being shot for no reason other than the color of their skin, pro-choice, of a different religion, or because someone with mental illness has access to a gun.

Hopeless

Hopelessness

It’s so easy to fall into it.

When Pandora opened her box, she released a plague on humanity. Exiting the box was famine, death, fear and because she closed the box before all could exit… Hope was trapped. With all the ugly and evil released onto the world we had no hope. We were deprived of that and if you listen to the politicians now you would feel the hopelessness.

Yet, as I approach my 32nd birthday, I realize that despite it all I do have hope for the future. It sounds weird to me because as most people know, I am a pessimist. Yet I have to have hope. I don’t get a choice. I have to have hope that the future will be a place worth living and that the world will get better from here. Every time I look at my three amazing and beautiful daughters I have hope that through them the world become a better place. Even on days when I lose my faith in humanity, they show me just how amazing they can be.

So despite it all, we must not let hopelessness consume us. There is darkness in the world but we must overcome that darkness with light. The more light we shine the closer we are to a better future.

Gridlock

“Oh yes,” I said.

I moaned as his placed passionate kisses on my neck, down my collar bone. His hands traveled up my night gown and his cold hands found my breasts. I shivered. He caressed my hardened peaks as he continued to place kisses on me.

I placed my hands flat on the kitchen counter as my now bare ass press firmly against the cold dark granite tile. It was the same cold tile where Jamie and I drink our coffee and discussed our late partying over breakfast.

I sat up and placed both hands on either side of his face. I lifted it. He brought his lips to mine in a passionate kiss. He tasted like the sweet chocolatey brownie he had just stolen from his sister’s stash. It was intoxicating and I had not been kissed like this in a long time.

***Earlier that evening…

“There’s an accident on 465 S. near the airport exit…” played through my radio. I heaved a sigh. Another day with more time wasted in traffic, I thought.

“Due to the early-morning storm, traffic lights on 38th St. and Lafayette Road are now flashing red…”

“Tell me about it,” I said looking out at the sea of cars on 38th St.

I leaned back and changed the station until I found a song that I liked. As the cars moved at a snail’s pace one after the other, I decided to try and not worry about it. I had already had a long day and more stress was not what I needed. I finally found a good song and I blasted it.  I could feel stress leaving my body and I gave in to the feeling.

I began to sing as loudly and as enthusiastically as I could. I was beginning to feel my mood lift and I decided not to let this gridlocked traffic affect me. That was until I glanced to the left out of my window. In the car next to me was an incredibly gorgeous man driving an incredibly gorgeous silver Mercedes. He was about my age late 20s with a short haircut and dark brown skin.

It would have been so bad if you are not laughing. He wasn’t just laughing; he was wiping his eyes and almost doubled over.

I looked away inside. He has seen my antics in my singing and thought that was hilarious. Looks like I’m going to be frustrated and embarrassed in this traffic jam, I thought.

***

He began to pull down his pants. He wasn’t wearing any underwear underneath his white and blue striped pajama pants. My eyes revealed to me what I was suspecting all along. He was well endowed and completely erect. He caught me staring and slowly began to stroke himself.

“What you come and give it a taste test.” He said.

I laughed.

“That was so corny. I’m sure you come up with something better than that.”

He paused to think. Then he smiled.

“I’ve got nothing.”

I climbed off the counter and knelt down in front of him. I reached down and grabbed his erection in my hands.

“Well, let me see if you can think of something while I handle this.”

 ***

“Jamie, I’m going to take a shower!” I yelled as I walked through the door.

I didn’t wait for her to respond. I just went down the hall to my bedroom, took off my clothes and jumped into the shower. It felt good to let the hot and steamy water wash the stench of the city off me.

After my shower I came downstairs to find my roommate Jamie and a guy sitting on the couch eating pizza. I didn’t realize she was going to have company. I didn’t want to disturb her so I turned to leave.

“Kay! Come over here,” Jaime yelled. Slightly confused I walked over to the couch where Jamie and her friend were sitting.

“Kay, I have somebody I want you to meet.”

I walked over to the couch not sure if I wanted to meet Jamie’s new flame. It seemed she was going through guys one every week. I worked too much to have any kind of encounter so I had no clue what that felt like. As I approached the couch I had to control my mouth from hanging open. There on the couch was the man from the traffic jam. The sexy guy that laughed at me. His amazing smile brought back all my embarrassment. I knew my eyes had to be as big as saucers.

“Kate this is my brother Calvin.”

Calvin stood and looked at me. It seemed like he didn’t realize who I was. Thank goodness, I thought.

“Hi Calvin, nice to meet you,” I said.

He reached out his hand to me. “Nice to meet you too Kay.”

At Jamie’s insistence, even though I was extremely tired. I joined them on the couch for a movie and some pizza feeling better about my day.

Later that night after we all had gone to bed, I realized I couldn’t sleep. I was thinking about Calvin and all the dirty things I wanted to do to him. I noticed him watching me during the movie. One time I caught him looking me up and down. It turned me on and I slipped out early feeling guilty about thinking of sex when I looked at Jaime’s brother.

I decided to get a late night snack and some warm tea. I was hoping that would help me fall asleep. In the kitchen I grabbed a glass from the cabinet and turned to place it on the counter. What I saw behind almost made me jump out of my skin.

Leaning with his elbows on the counter and his face in his hands was Calvin…smiling at me.

“Whoa, you almost made me drop this glass.” I said.

He laughed.

“You are beautiful when you’re scared. Almost as beautiful as you were singing in your car.”

I realized he did remember me.

“So you do remember me.” I said.

“Yes I do,” he said walking over to me. He was so close and I was so turned on. “I also remember wishing I had gotten your phone number.

He leaned in to kiss me.

“What are you doing?” I asked trying to back up only to find I was stuck between him and the counter.

“I want to kiss you.”

“Your Jamie’s brother. We can’t…”

He interrupted me with a passionate kiss. My mind told me to stop but my body continued to kiss him. I let him wrap his arms around my waist and my hands went to his chest feeling the contours of his body.

***

After my orgasm subsided, I began to panic. I grabbed my panties off the floor and tried to exit the kitchen without a word. He grabbed me.

“Let’s go into the guest room for round two.” He said

My eyes widened.

“Are you crazy?” I held up a hand. “This can never happen again.”

At the moment I realized he was still naked.

“Get dressed.”

I walked out of the kitchen, through the living room and smacked right into Jamie.

“What’s going on?” She asked still rubbing her eyes.

I quickly put my penis behind my back.

“Just getting a late night snack,” I replied realizing I had more of a late night snack than I had anticipated. I didn’t give her time to ask me more questions. I partly jogged down the hallway to my bedroom all the while hoping she didn’t find her brother standing in the kitchen naked.

 

 

 

 

F is for Fallen Angel

I have been judged.

Not by God himself but by society and closer in my own world…my family.

I have been judged

I have been found unworthy by Christians and denying myself salvation unless I repent my
salacious ways.

In he eyes of some of my family I am a fallen angel. I have falling from grace and need to be redeemed.

In 2 Peter 2:4, it is said, “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment …”

A Fallen Angel. What does that fallen angel 1term mean to you? For most people, almost no matter what religion or those that do not have a particular religion or do not believe in God, a fallen angel is an angel who sinned and was cast out of heaven.

I grew up feeling like an outcast. I ran with the persona for years that I was a good little girl. I was the obedient excellent kid because that is what everyone expected of me. I tried my best not to get into any trouble. I was dutiful, I was a superb student, I read my bible, I came home at curfew. I was everything they needed me to be.

The problem was, I was nothing like the person I pretended to be. Well, I was a good student and I did try my best to be a good person, but the secrets that I kept to myself I knew would give others a different opinion of me. I was afraid of what my family would think if they knew the real me.

Eventually I knew that I would disappoint them. I would prove to be nothing like they believed me to be and I dreaded the moment when that would come to pass.

When I came out as bisexual, I was called wicked by some members of my family. I had some family that supported me and t
hat made it a little easier. I knew though my family did not truly accept homosexuality andfallen angel it was a sin. My sister confirmed it for me when I proclaimed to my circle that I was bisexual. My older sister, on a public forum, told me that I was wicked, damned, going to hell and that I was taking my children with me. I was heart-broken. I brushed it off in front of everyone else but deep inside I was deeply hurt.

I tried to rationalize it. I told myself, “I understand. She wants to “save” me. Her religious beliefs tell her that she needs to help me or else I will go to hell. She cares about me and she loves me.”

Then it got worse. Some of the family that seemed to support me started using that I was bisexual against me when they were upset with me. They would say things like I was perverted, nasty and disgusting.

I would have second thoughts, feeling like I should never have pierced the façade that surrounded me. Maybe if I just took my secrets to the grave then none of this would have happened. My family would have never known. Yes, no one would have known but I would have continued with my miserable existence. I would never have lifted the burden that was holding me down.

So in the eyes of my family I am no longer the good and perfect child. I am the wicked and the damned. I am the fallen angel. Deep down I knew I was destined to fall. A person can only hide behind a mask for so long.

fallen angel 3

E is for Elementary

I have been binge watching different TV shows lately. One of the shows that I liked the most was Elementary. Elementary is a modern take on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle sherlock 3character Sherlock Holmes. I loved the show because it brought me back to my childhood. I loved to read Sherlock Holmes books and I had a nice collection that my parents helped me get.

I loved the character. I loved Holmes and Dr. Watson. I liked them because they were above average smart and they could see things others could not. When I was younger I always valued intelligence and academics. I was a very smart child, a focused student and I loved to learn things. I was always above average; I was found to have an IQ of 126 which is 10 points shy of being Mensa level.

My brain was the only thing I thought I had. I suffered from low self esteem and I noticed that I was praised by teachers and my peers for going over and beyond. I was the over sherlock 5achiever. Ok, I still over achieve…all the time. Just ask my daughter and her teacher. I made a stage of the wolf and the three little pigs for a book report.

I felt like I had a place in this word and I was going to be that no matter if it killed me.

I remember my school put me in regular classes on accident and within one week they moved me up. Not because my mother protested or something. It was because when class work was over you would find me sitting in the back reading Little Women.

In 6th grade I read all the time. I read 200 books in one year and was given an award by the Librarian in front of the entire school.  My dad used to call me when he needed help with cross word puzzles. When someone needed to know something they called me for the answers. When I didn’t know the answer they would be shocked.

“You don’t know it? Aren’t you the smart one?”

That only led me to study and study some more making sure I would never not know something. The pressure was on and I hated not knowing something. I would get frustrated when I wouldn’t get perfect answers on random tests. I was starting to let it consume me.

I brought home a C once and cried. My parents didn’t know what to do. I was obsessed with being the best at everything.  I needed to be the best. I watched documentaries, the history channel, the discovery channel and anything else that would help me to learn things I didn’t learn in the classroom. My parents called me “The Walking Encyclopedia”.  I was always the smart one and I let that narrative guide me and define me.

As I grew I became more erratic with my emotions. I had bouts of depression and sherlock 4agoraphobia. I didn’t want to go very many places. I was so much of a hermit I became deficient in Vitamin D. I felt like I was losing my mind and that fear gripped me and brought about anxiety and panic attacks. I didn’t sleep and my creativity suffered.

About two years ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. It was hard hearing that I had a mental illness. Me? The intelligent and smart one? The one thing I thought I had going for me was tainted by an illness.

I lived with a narrative that I was exceptional academically and that was it. That was me. Nothing more.  I had nothing else to offer anyone and so it was devastating when I felt I was losing that. The medication that I had to take caused me to lose my memory on several occasions.

At 28 I found I had to change the narrative of my life. Therapy helped me to cope with my disorder and I started back studying and watching documentaries.  I don’t do it now because of my obsession. My medication helps me with that. I do it now because I really like studying and learning new things every day.

I came to terms with my Bipolar disorder and the medication. I now use my studying as a way to manage my anxiety and help with some of my erratic behavior. It doesn’t cure me or anything like that. I still have setbacks when I am obsessive and compulsive and low energy. It’s ok.  If I wasn’t so erratic and eccentric I would be very boring and that’s just Elementary my fellow readers.

D is for Dante’s Inferno

“Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” ~Dante Alighieri

I have always been fascinated with reading, watching and studying religion, mythology and ancient history. Lately I have been drawn to Dante Alighieri’s poem The Divine Comedy and in particular the first part Inferno.

If you’ve never read the poem please let me give you a little background.

In the 14th century not long before he died, Dante Alighieri wrote an epic three part allegorical poem titled The Divine Comedy.  In Dante’s time you either wrote dramas or comedies. If you wrote them in Latin they were for the upper class. Those written in Italian were written for the lower class. Dante chose to write his poem in Italian so all those that could read would understand. The three parts were called Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory) and Paridisio (Paradise or Heaven).  The poem tells of the human spiritual journey through hopelessness in order to find the grace of God.

I was most intrigued by Inferno. I was fascinated by the 9 levels of hell that Dante described. EDante 2ach level covers a wide range of sins and the worse your sin the lower you are in hell. Dante categorized his personal opinion of the rank of sins based on how he perceived them in his life. Each sin is punished based on the influence it had on others causing them to sin as well. For example, Psychics and Fortune tellers were destined to walk naked with their heads turned backwards representing their backwards thinking and how they mislead people in their lives.

What spoke to me most about the poem was the thought that in order to find peace sometimes you have to hit rock bottom or lose all hope. This sounds strange but to lose all hope and to hit the lowest point in your life can lead you to finally search for or journey toward a better life. It is said that it takes hitting rock bottom before a person can truly see their plight and decide to change things.

Dante’s Inferno to me shows that losing all hope and starting the journey to betterment can be dangerous and not all will succeed or survive. That is why it was at his own peril that he chose to journey to hell. Like many others in mythology, when a living soul travels to hell you run the risk of never returning. However it was the only way. His journey through hell showed him that things in his life could be worse.

I suffer from Bipolar disorder. For most of my life I had no clue that I had this disorder. It took me hitting a very low point before I chose to start my journey to a better tomorrow. I felt hopeless and unsure of my future. My disorder was pushing those that I love away and I had no tools of improving.

It was hell getting a therapist and uncovering all my deepest and darkest secrets. I had toDante 3 talk about my childhood and things I never wanted to tell anyone. It ripped me apart uncovering each level of hell I had endured.

Yet it was the only way to maneuver my way through the Inferno that was my life.

Though I do not interpret sins the same way that Dante did, I understand what he must have been feeling or going through when he wrote the poem.

Abandon all hope when you enter here…the only way to begin the journey.

 

C is for Changed

“Did you pay for the second bag?” the bus driver asked me.

I stopped and looked at her.

“Yes. I paid $60”

My grandmother grabbed onto to me using me as her support. With her bad hip she was always afraid of falling and injuring it again.

“If you paid $60 that wouldn’t have been for the second bag. You would pay $49 for the trip and an extra $10 for the second bag. That’s $59,” she said writing something on her clipboard.

I narrowed my eyes at her. It was almost 3am and she was fucking with me.

“Sorry, I rounded.”

“Oh ok” she responded. “Just load the bags under the bus.

I sighed.

“Grandma, get on the bus. I have the bags.”

I loaded the large heavy red suitcases into the storage compartment under the massive coach bus. Lack of sleep was making it hard to focus. I was cranky and uneasy about the situation. Soon the bus carrying my grandmother to the airport would leave but until then, I promised her I would wait with her.

Once I finished getting her suitcases and walker safely and securely under the bus, I climbed the steps inside to find her right up front comfortably sitting in her head to toe purple ensemble. Her shoes and watch were also purple. (I promised her I would mention the watch.)

The minutes ticked by and I felt nervous and anxious all at the same time. I began to buckle her into her seat, arranging her carry-on bag and adjusting her pillow. I was treating her like she was my child going away for the first time to summer camp or something.

“Can you tuck me in too?” Joked the older man sitting behind her with the toothless grin. I laughed politely feeling a little creeped out by his words.

Ten more minutes before the bus had to leave. I waited. I promised her I would stay with her.  I sat across from her biting my nails and thinking that I was feeling tightness in my chest.

“Make sure you call me when you get to the airport.” I said.

My legs bounced up and down as I waited. The bouncing leg and nail biting Change 1.jpgwas the only outward evidence of the turmoil building up inside of me. I was feeling a little panicky. I attributed that to not taking my anxiety meds before I left home.

“Okay,” she said.

“And call me when you board.”

It was the reason I bought her the phone.

“Oh and call when you get to Baltimore…”

“Okay,” she laughed.

I checked the time and realized it was time to start saying goodbye. It was always a terrible process for me. I never knew how to say goodbye without feeling awkward and having an anxiety attack.

I hugged her tightly.

“Goodbye grandma.”

She squeezed me back.

“Goodbye. I love you.”

“I loved you too.” I said moving back.

Because I’m not good with farewells and didn’t know if I said goodbye enough, I went in for another hug. She kissed me on the cheek and I finally pulled away still feeling like I shouldn’t leave her.

I did however leave the bus. Before I could exit completely, I heard sniffles come from her direction. Whatever emotions I was trying to hide came bubbling up to the surface. I jogged to my car. Once inside I took a few deep breaths trying to calm down. I stayed, as promised, until the bus pulled away and turned down the street. I started the car and headed back home.

I didn’t get far before I began to cry. It started out as a few tears then quickly became full blown sobs. It was hard to see where I was going with my eyes filled with tears. I cried the entire way home and once there I sat in the car for a few minutes and cried some more.

At first I didn’t understand why I was crying. I chalked it up to me being an extremely sensitive and emotional person. Crying randomly is not new. Deep down though, I could tell it was more than that.

I felt…changed.

I canChange 2 equate it to how the Grinch did when his heart grew three sizes. It was the craziest feeling. I was worried about her. My heart was opened to her in a way it never was. How will she survived without me doing things for her. That thought crossed my mind even though she has been taking care of herself for most of her life.

It was an unfamiliar feeling. Caring about her well-being. I am not a cold person but for most of my life she was portrayed as a Wicked Witch and because she can’t for the life of her hold her tongue, she fed right into that role. This resulted in me being very indifferent to her plight and anything that had to do with her.
The past two weeks were the most time I had ever spent with her. We had opened and honest conversations filled with hugs, tears and laughter. The changes we have made in the past two weeks have been monumental. We not only began to understand each other but I felt a growth within me. I felt lighter and better.

I felt closer now to the only grandparent I have left. We created good memories that overshadowed the last 31 years I felt detached from her. Through her I was able to grieve some more. By talking about my mom with the woman who gave birth to her I was able to grieve in ways I never knew  I needed to. I was crying tears that took 6 years to shed. Mending a broken heart that I thought would forever be broken.

The past two weeks moved me. Moved me toward a more whole individual.

I was forever changed.

Bad Connection

I bought my grandmother a new cell phone. The look on her face when she received the phone was of pure happiness and joy. I had never seen this side of her. She was outright giddy. This was the second cell phone my grandmother has owned in her 75 years of life. The first one she had I bought for her.

After getting over her excitement about getting her first “smart phone” she could “swipe” with…she asked me to make a call. She needed me to show her how to jump into the 21st century and call her friends and her doctor’s office. I decided I would make the call and give her the assistance she needed.

“What’s the number?” I asked.

She paused for a minute.

I waited.

“1.4.0.1…”

“You don’t need to press 1.” I told her.

“Huh?”

“You don’t need to press 1.”

She furrowed her brow.

“You don’t?”

“Just give me the number.”

She paused for thought.

I waited.

“398…umm…7237.”

“I need the area code.” I replied.

“I thought you said you don’t need that.”

I sighed. I had to remember to be patient. It has been a long time since I’ve had to explain how to make a call from a cell phone.

“You don’t have to press 1. It doesn’t matter if it’s long distance. You still need the area code.”

She gave me the area code and I made the phone call on her behalf.  After a few minutes I handed the phone over to her. I watched as my grandmother had a stern conversation with the “lazy” secretary at her doctor’s office.

I just watched and thought about how weird it was having her here in my home…with my family. I had never in my life spent this much time with her. It has been a full 8 days talking, laughing and enjoying our favorite things together.

My grandmother flew to Bakersfield from Providence, RI. Rhode Island was where she had always been when I was growing up. It seemed like a far away land. A million miles away. She only came to visit once in a blue moon and when she did it was never a pleasant time. She came and left leaving a dark cloud over all of us.

At least that was my opinion of her as a child and I am sure it was the same opinion the rest of my family had. I remember thinking she was mean, high maintenance and unkind to children. I didn’t really want her to visit.

There was a bad connection in the family. What I grew to believe about her was in some cases was skewed. I used to watch her through dim colored glasses just waiting for the next time she said something rude and disrespectful.  I lived viewing her the way I used to when I was a child.

She wasn’t perfect. She had a child at 14 and was told to stay home and raise her child or go to school. In this case she did what any child would do. She left her daughter with her mother and grandmother and went off to school. She believed she was doing what was right. I don’t know if what she decided was the right decision but it set off a wicked chain of bad information or perceptions that spanned decades and generations.

My only opinion of her came from a daughter who felt like she was abandoned as a child. Her pain and opinion of her mother was poured lavishly all over her children denying us the chance to form our own opinions about the woman that brought her into this world.

I always felt something was missing, however. Part of me held on to the fact she could not have been as bad and as rude or as horrible of a mother as she was made out to be.

I felt it in my soul.

I wanted to believe that she was not such a terrible person. I am not known to be very forgiving or to take too many chances on people. Yet, I felt like I needed to leave the past in the past and break the cycle of years of disdain and pain passed from generations. I had to end it.

Bad blood flowed through their veins spewing hatred and foul words about the women who gave them birth. There was a lack of communication. My mother had deep issues with her mother and my grandmother had similar issues with hers.  Hearing my mother’s stories and my grandmother’s story led me to believe that their memories were based on how they perceived the situation and memories given to them by others. How else could my mother know things about situations she wasn’t born to witness?

Everyone has a past and a series of bad connections and misunderstandings. Those things should not stand in the way of your happiness. It is better to leave the past in the past and grow from the those mistakes and not hang on to them. When we have been hurt, I have learned, you find a way to let things go and forgive. My mother didn’t get a chance to forgive her mother and let it all go. She died before she could do that. My Great-grandmother died before my grandmother had the same chance.

Well, I am still here.

I plan to end that bad connection and start fresh. I have forgiven my mother and my grandmother for the hurt they have caused each other in hopes that even through death…we can all find some piece.

A is for Adele

♫ Hello from the other side…♫

The voice of the singer Adele floated from the speakers mixing with the sound of the wind as I drove and the sweet voice of a 4 year old from the back seat.

My daughter loved this song. I loved it as well. Apparently so did my grandmother as her head swayed back and forth enjoying the melody.

“Do you know this is her third album?” my grandmother asked me.

I nodded trying to focus on the road in front of me. I turned up the radio. The whistling wind was beginning to drown out the music as I picked up speed to match the increased speed limit.

“Her firsNotes 4t album was named ‘19’ because she was 19 when she wrote it,” she told me. “Her second album was ‘21” because she was 21.”

I nodded as I sang along with my daughter. Occasionally at a red light or a stop sign I would take quick looks at my grandmother. She sat staring out at the city she had never seen before taking in the smells, the sights and the sounds.

I thought about the first time my grandmother told me she wanted to visit me. I felt uneasy about the situation. Growing up she was an enigma to me. I was told nothing about her except the fact that she was high maintenance, uppity, and didn’t like kids. I felt she didn’t care to get to know her grandkids and no one not even my grandmother dispelled those feelings.

She felt like a stranger to me and I had no clue how a two week visit from her would turn out. I didn’t know anything about her. My mother never talked about her mother and her life.  I know it was a tumultuous time for both of them but my mother said much about her mother’s life.

♫ I must have called a thousand times…♫

I didn’t know what she liked to eat, to watch on TV or if she even liked to watch TV. I wasn’t sure if she was sensitive to smells or allergic to anything. Is she allergic to the detergent I use? Is she a vegetarian? Is she messy or a neat freak?

I quickly learned she loved ice cream, she was extremely messy and she loved to talk about her life and her past. I learned she had several different wigs even some that had red or purple highlights to match her outfit. She told me about her travels to the Philippines, Alaska, China, Panama and many other places.Notes 5

We had a few things in common. We both liked to watch documentaries, very interested in Greek mythology, Movies based off Dan Brown’s books and seafood.

I also discovered we loved to listen to Adele.

♫ To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart…♫

“I love her voice,” she said.

I nodded.

“I love her voice too,” I replied.

I sat quietly listening to the music letting the words penetrate my soul wiping away any uneasiness and anxiety I felt about the woman sitting next to me. I was hoping her visit would change and improve our relationship. Hopefully they would no longer be strangers.

Who would have thought Adele would be the start of a new grandmother-granddaughter relationship?

In Defense of Sex

“’Sex’ is as important as eating or drinking and we ought to allow the one appetite to be satisfied with as little restraint or false modesty as the other.”  ~Marquis de Sade

We as a society are always talking about it, reading about it and watching it yet when it comes to sex we see it as something to be hidden. We view it as a taboo and as something that should not be enjoyed to the level as some people choose to enjoy it.

As an erotic romance writer, I find myself defending sex more than I thought I ever would. when I write, I don’t include sex for shock value. I acknowledge that sex is a part of relationships whether it be good or bad and I chose to show sex can cause all types of controversy between men and women. When I write about relationships why should I not include sex?

sex is naturalOf course, we wouldn’t be here if our parents did not have sex but most of what you hear about sex is false and misleading. Sex is awesome and a healthy part of humanity. It is not something that is only reserved for red-light districts or hidden away into the dark.

Questions that I am commonly asked about sex are…

  1. Do I condone porn?
  2. Do I think prostitution should be legal?
  3. Should sex be taught to kids of all ages?

Porn is not something that can be condoned. It is perfectly legal for someone to have sex on camera and produce it for people that would like to see it. The key to porn is that all members involved need to be adults. Those performing in the acts and those that are viewing them must be consenting adults. The only issue I would take up with pornography is the exploitation of young women and men and whether or not the industry is keeping people safe.

Prostitution has been a part of humanity for as long as we can remember. The issue with prostitution becomes the lack of safety for women and men. To legalize it in my opinion could make matters worse for people and could make exploitation of children worse.

When younger people are at an age where they begin to think about sex is when, yes, I believe they should be responsibly taught about it. If we do not teach our children about sex we are setting them up to be taught by those that wish to use them and take advantage of them. When my daughter hit puberty I had “the talk” with her and gave her information that will give her power over herself and her body. No one can tell her a lie and have her believe it because I have told her the truth about herself and about sex.

We know there are those that indulge in sex in a way that may be unsafe and harmful. They may put themselves in bad have sexsituations by not protecting themselves. Like everything in life, there are people that over indulge in sex, drugs and alcohol to a harmful extent. That will not change.

We cannot allow those people to dictate what sex means or diminish the importance of sex in our society. The same goes for religion. Religion makes sex seem dirty and immoral. It pushed sex to the dark corners of society. We cannot allow religion to dictate or tell us how to feel about sex. Sex is incredible and a healthy part of life and should be an amazing experience for us all on our own terms.

In my defense of sex, I have to say that sex is just as natural to us as eating, sleeping and breathing. It is a part of our experience for a reason and should be embraced as such.

The Drama of Sex : What really sells

I have heard from multiple sources that they know exactly why I write erotica.

“It’s because sex sells.”

The first time I heard that I thought about it for a second. It is known that sex whether it be images, videos or sex itself does sell very well in this country. It wouldn’t be farfetched to believe that I choose to write erotica or erotic romance for that reason.

However, anyone that thinks that would be wrong. First, I do not choose what I write. The stories come to me and I just go with the flow. I also write what in the genre I am good at writing.

Secondly, erotic is not about sex. It is about people and relationships and how sex has either enhanced those relationships or broken them apart. The relationships and issues that you read about in my stories are similar to other stories that you see on TV.

For example, look at the most popular shows out today. Scandal, Empire, Grey’s Anatomy are all shows that I see discussed and watched religiously. They are not about sex but if you look closely you can find that sex and issues surrounding it have thrown a few characters around and turned their lives upside down.

In a good story there is controversy and drama and what better to accomplish that then to throw an affair, a sexual betrayal or any sort of sexual intimacy into the mix.

Sex has a way of complicating situations. It is a powerful thing. It can cause people to kill, betray those that they love, throw their lives away or be convinced to discard their values. It can be the bonus of a good and loving relationship or it can be the undoing of people and most often for many of my characters.

I use sex in my stories in accordance with love. Those two together make a dynamite combination of mayhem.

I do not use sex in my stories because I think that it sells better. I use sex in my stories but sex is a part of life and it is a main component in drama and I think that any great story starts with great sex.